The Chicago Bears made it official Monday afternoon (Jan. 2) that John Fox was out as the team's head coach. Fox was head coach in Chicago for three seasons and went 14-34 as they finished last in the NFC North every one of those years. People pretty much knew Fox was gone after this year was over, so the move came to no surprise. A report by ESPN confirmed the firing.

As the search for a new head coach begins, all eyes are now focused on GM ryan pace. The Bears GM, just finishing his third year of duty, has been heading up the rebuild of this team since taking over.

It was announced by President Ted Phillips that Pace was given a contract extension through 2021 as the Bears are putting faith in him to finish this rebuild. Pace addressed the media Monday afternoon at Halas Hall, which was televised, and discussed what the team's outlook was moving forward as they search for a new coach.

Pace's presser

When Pace addressed the media Monday, there was a lot of anticipation regarding what he was going to say regarding the head coach search. He made it clear that the plan is to continue to build up the roster around quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who Pace took second overall in last year's draft. The young core is in place, but there are more holes to fill and development to be done.

The new coach is going to oversee the further development of the core and hopefully bring the team back to contention. While Pace praised Fox for helping change the culture, he said the team's record was not good enough.

"Early this morning I informed coach [John] Fox that we were going to head in a different direction," Pace said.

"I have the utmost respect for coach Fox, he is a great friend and I want to thank him for the last three year as our head coach. He helped set the foundation for this organization to go to new heights."

Regarding the head coach search. When asked about what kind of guys he had in mind and what type of mind (offensive or defensive) he simply said, "I don't want to paint ourselves in a corner, we are looking for the best coach.

It is going to be a broad, thorough search." He then immediately added that there were no formal requests for coaches submitted yet.

One question that was asked regarded something which has concerned fans and media members alike, is the coaching hire fully Pace's decision? "It will be a collaborative effort," Pace said. "With George [McCaskey], Ted [Phillips] and myself, with me spear-heading that effort and me ultimately making the final decision on this."

He also said that they were talking about the idea of the young Trubisky being involved in the search process, which would put a lot of pressure on him. How Trubisky will be potentially involved remains to be seen.

Looking forward

Ryan Pace has his work cut out for him this offseason.

Not only will he go out and hire a new coach, he will have another important draft. The Bears will have seven picks in the draft and will pick at No. 8 in the first round. There are a number of holes to fill on the roster including wide receivers, offensive lineman, pass rushers, secondary depth, and outside linebackers.

Pace says that he is "excited" about having the resources and picks to fill in needed areas and move forward. But first thing is first, a new head coach must be hired. The pressure is on him knowing that he has little margin for error moving forward.